In this article, Jim Stanford picks apart what really happened at the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Sydney a couple of weeks ago. He does so by taking a close look at the documents produced by the meeting.
He assesses these documents against the “claims” made by Joe Hockey (Australia’s Treasurer) and Tony Abbott (the Prime Minister) that the meeting outcomes endorsed the government’s wholesale attack on social services (especially health and welfare), unions and workers generally. He looks closely at their oft-repeated claim that Australia was living beyond its means and the government cannot afford things (repeated by other government leaders).
He identifies 4 key components of economic policy that are highlighted, one of which is investment. Well, since then we have the ABS report that business in Australia has gone on an investment strike, its fallen apart.
Jim concludes that “.. in no way can the G20 statement be interpreted as an endorsement of Abbott’s coming cutbacks”, nor as it turns out does it endorse their plans to gift greater powers and control to employers to be used against workers.
The last section addresses – concisely – the claim by Hockey and others that the government is broke, maxed out on credit. He shows that this is simply not true.
It’s all Abbott-Hockey- BCA-AIG spin. And why should we be surprised by that?
Jim is the chief economist for UNIFOR, and is visiting Australia for a short while.